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Messages - DeckBuilder

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Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: The Blasting Banker
« on: February 18, 2014, 10:55:38 AM »
A really interesting build as usual, Charmyna, this time from a surprising new angle.

This is the old-style Nuke Fire Wizard with Curse Transfusion and Mana Denial all in one.
I'm surprised there is no Suppression Orb? Also Enchanter's Wardstones against Purge Magic?
Mana Denial is best entered all-in: I see Obelisk, Cloak, Ward & Essence (vs. main Elite) but not those?
In contrast, Hand of Bim-Shalla feels like a Zone Exclusive luxury and as for Darkfenne Bat - did you mean Hydra?

I guess this build works so well because of the current meta. Neither high armor on Mage nor Interceptors are used that much - at least not in Octgn.

I'm surprised at this.
Veteran's Belt surely meant everyone goes High Armour?
Guardian Angel is standard in Holy Mages and Gargoyle in Gate to Voltari builds (nobody plays Warlord sadly)
This then leads to plenty of Corrode which then leads to Healing Wand to remove it.
OCTGN seems to have a very different meta to my local one.

With your insight about OCTGN's meta, I can see how this works.

But compare this to Tarkin's Priestess or Indy's 2 aggro books, both posted in the last 24hrs
Does this really work??? After Tarkin taught me a lesson on Meditation Amulet, I'm reluctant to cast hasty judgement.

If it does, I think it may be more its surprise factor and an indication of different skill levels against (some) opponents
Everyone knows you are one of the best players in the world
So maybe this proves that play skill, rather than book, is more important in this game?
(This also explains how Tarkin's Priestess beat 2 Grizzly FM)

I am going to have to take some time to digest if (a variant of) this build would be viable in my different local meta.
But I suspect your good results may be more a disparity in skill level (and interface familiarity) and the OCTGN meta.

The problem with these Near Solo builds (like Forcemaster) is you are so behind on Action Advantage.
Even with Wizard's Tower and what I assume is a Hydra guarding Obelisk tax, I'm surprised this works so well.
Where previously mana-intensive attack spells have been finishers, here you suggest they are a Win Condition?
Don't get me wrong - it's a strong well-thought out build but it's certainly a very high skill level build to pilot well.

I hope you're not offended by my feedback - there are many compliments  in there.

I look forward to eating humbie pie yet again!
I do hope this build works against the armoured mages I face as it would prove the diversity of this great game.

Oh - and it's good to know you no longer think "It's ALL about the spell points!" :)

We use 2min timers for Planning - alarm goes off, tough if too few cards, random return if too many cards
The phone alarm clock emits a 30 second warning too
Most of the time, we are both ready within a minute but there are times when the full 2mins are used
If we had chess clocks, we would probably use them (guess we could just use phone stopwatches)

Bringing it back to the thread topic of the Priestess...

I fell asleep during my first game against the Priestess...
(It was after missing the prior night's sleep)

It was very early on when we all just had Core Set
I think I was playing Lair Dog Swarm
I had lost more than she had invested removing old Temple of Light so lacked the firepower to take her out
Nor did I have a Dissolve left for her Wand of Minor Heal...
This was also before timed Planning and against an equally new player who turtled and wasn't adventurous

Nowadays w've learnt to resign like gentlemen when Priestess gains control instead of prolonging the pain

I suspect many other players have nodded off playing against a slow Priestess.
Who said Sleep was a Forcemaster spell...? :)

Strategy and Tactics / Re: Dice vs Armor table
« on: February 18, 2014, 09:25:36 AM »

Can I challenge you to use your great maths skill to work out something please?

I roll X attack dice against Y armour (after piercing)
I always re-roll all X dice (once only) if I roll less than average net damage - but I must take the re-roll

How much extra damage is this ability to re-roll worth? (As X vs. Y tables above)
Could you then compare this to just rolling X+1 and X+2 dice once at the start?

If this is really complicated (or too challenging for you :) - play on the ego!), then no problem.
I've had a bet our Forum Statistician could solve this but it's not an issue if it's too hard for you.

[Savvy players will know the game development reason why I'm asking this huge favour...]

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: Modular Spellbooks!
« on: February 18, 2014, 07:52:42 AM »
It's a great idea, Indy. Finally a use for those Magic Trading folders now I've quit constructed and sold my collection!

My only quibble is what about those of us with OCD who like everything neat and sorted? :)
Is it just me who likes drooling at a spellbook page filled with 4 Teleport or 4 Dispel or 4 Dissolve? It looks so neat!
Just knowing where they are in my book so that I can think until 30secs left on our 2min timer before going for them.
(Although my poker-playing friend has told me where I pick from in my book is a tell as I keep the incants at the end!
I should know better as a seasoned Magic player - my friend even shuffles his 2 cards which so irritates, its purpose.)
I can just see his reaction when I next bring out an old trades folder and get spells from "functional" modular pages!

- Btw, I love the 2 books. They are so aggressive! I think I'm too much of a control-freak to play aggro well.

Spellbook Design and Construction / Re: Pushy Wizard (Air)
« on: February 18, 2014, 05:23:03 AM »
I like the build

It combines 2 tried-and-tested elements


Walls of Thorns
Poison Gas Clouds
Whirling Spirits
Wizard's Tower (Jet Stream)
Elemental Wand (Jet Stream)
Huginn (aerial Force Push)



Archer's Watchtower
Blocks LOS Wall (usually Steel but in this case Thorns)

Both of the above have been tried but maybe not together (or at least not published on this forum)

It's a clever meld, AW - you should call this thread "The Philosophy of Wind"?

However, a couple of meta issues makes it less than optimal these days

(1) Wall of Thorns hurt bad by Veteran's Belt

The hardest builds will have something like...
Forge + High Armour + Veteran's Belt + Rhino Hide + Regrowth + Healing Wand (or Priestess) vs. Corrode
4 Armour + Veteran's Belt nerfs Wall of Thorns (minimal damage if any)
I appreciate you have Acid Ball against this

(2) Air Wizard has been hurt by the anti-poison meta

Because Poison Gas Cloud was such a good weapon with the Push strategy
They still create zones of hindering and are great against Living builds but unreliable
I know you don't play them probably for these reasons but all mages are Living

(3) Fire is a popular element with Plants and Resilience

Walls of Thorns can be burnt down quite easily, if Deathlock is in play

However, that's all nitpicking.
I think it's a great build, a clever melding of 2 good strategies

The last time I played Air Wizard (around Xmas!), I played this fun Spirits + Jelly Pit build

Air Wizard Control

Equipment (18)
1 Arcane Ring (1)
1 Elemental Cloak (1)
1 Dragonscale Hauberk (2)
1 Leather Gloves (1)
1 Leather Boots (1)
1 Moonglow Amulet (2)
2 Mage Wand (4)
1 Elemental Wand (2)
1 Veteran's Belt (2)
1 Healing Wand (2)

Conjurations (20)
1 Battle Forge (4)
2 Mana Crystal (2)
1 Wizard's Tower (2)
2 Poison Gas Cloud [4]
4 Bloodspine Walls [8]

Creatures (28)
4 Devouring Jelly (12)
2 Thornlasher [8]
2 Whirling Spirit [8]

Enchantments (12)
2 Harmonize (2)
1 Rhino Hide (2)
1 Regrowth (2)
1 Divine Protection (2)
4 Nullify (4)

Incantations (28)
4 Dispel (4)
1 Purge Magic (3)
1 Seeking Dispel (1)
4 Dissolve [8]
4 Teleport [8]
1 Force Wave (2)
1 Force Push (2)

Attacks (14)
2 Jet Stream (2)
2 Acid Ball (4)
1 Lightning Bolt (2)
1 Fireball (4)
1 Surging Wave (2)

(Edit: wrote this at work, got back home, checked my Excel, few cards wrong so changed)

It's not great, it was a fun quickly built idea
The advantage the Bloodspines had over Thorns was that there was no LOS blocking
Which for Wizard is quite important

After seeing your build, I think there's definite advantages in your build

Thanks for the post and I hope my fun build provoked ideas too
Because your build certainly got my mind thinking...

[Having made an embarrassing mistake, I might as well continue with some openly-voiced musings...]

Ok, I'm not trying to break this build, just trying to understand its parameters by matching it against other top tier builds.


I can see it is a very strong choice against Wizard Slow creatures, especially Jelly/Golem with Temple of Light. Golem Pit accepted Priestess was its weakness (hence mixed in Living) as she out-turtles, has Light attacks (here Temple) and Divine Intervention so she's was an excellent choice anticipating Earth Wizard.


This is slightly harder I expect but Meditating even denies Gate to Voltari mana! Problem is books will focus on Jelly probably. I assume Archers come out here? Another long game but nobody turtles better than Priestess. Again a good choice as she's incredibly resilient.


Against Zombie Brute Squad (14 Channel and 4 Brutes emerging from FC by turn 5), Temple of Light causes problems (Wall of Bones blocks) but so does Deathlock (Angels) & Pestilence once Priestess is wounded beyond Minor Heal range. Then again she has Divine Intervention to escape a Wall of Bones cornering to regroup and destroy Deathlock/Pestilence in my corner, abandons Temple of Asrya to the Zombies but just hard summons, her creature base is bigger (4 Brutes, 1 Shaggoth, 1 Plague) so I can see with good play, she will win a war of attrition. But it's touch and go as Brute Squad brutally punishes mistakes and usually only fears Jelly/Golems/Whirling Spirit (and well played Skeletons). But this build has a good game against Brute Squad as corner-to-corner Divine Intervention is too much tempo loss and it will attrition it once Deathlock is destroyed. Advantage Priestess.


What about Curses? Against Enchantment Transfusion of a stack of negative enchants like Force Crush etc, I assume this build goes aggressive to disrupt the build up. She has Purify for action-saving multi-removal too. Plus Divine Intervention foils anything - does that mean the Transfusing Enchantments are all lost? Hmmm, I feel Wizard Mana Denial with Curses like Dude's "Highly Calibrated Wizard" or Shadow's Earth Wizard (with DvN cards) may still be a problem. Charmyna has been alluding to his "Blasting Banker" which seems a hybrid of Curses and Distance Nuking with Mana Denial, upgrade on Warlock because of Wizard's Tower. Lack of 1 Purge Magic which most Wizards have against this (and Beastmaster/Forcemaster) may be an issue here...


Don't know much about her so I really can't comment.
ACG plays Defensive Samara Treee Meditation Amulet + Flowers.
Aylin plays Aggressive Vine Tree which is where my preference is.
But the level 3 creature quality that Holy has may be too much.
Especially if you give her time to Armour Up with her Crown etc.


Maybe Living Hyper-Aggro is its weakness? Surely this Priestess build invests too heavily in infrastructure at the start to cope with it?

An old-fashion aggro Fire Warlock like a Bashcon Beatdown variant (updated 1 year) may be a problem. But Guardian Angel wasn't around back then.

How does it cope against the simple Beastmaster Forge + Beast Ring + Enchanter's Ring "Aggro Tempo"? It has access to usually 2 Mongoose Agility (timed revealed), Eaglewings on Cervere etc? Maybe even toolbox Falcon Precision This old chestnut may actually be her hardest match because it attacks Priestess' corner in round 2 with 4 dice and then doesn't stop, ending up with a Voltron equipped Beastmaster. These Mid range Spawnpoint builds were meat and drink to that build so I reckon Beastmaster will win. It's only Wizards' slow game that has made Mid Range Spawnpoint viable again. I don't fancy the Priestess' chances. Still, she will armour up pretty fast...

Also Tarkin managed to beat a 2 Grizzlies Forcemaster build and you can't get more Hyper Aggro than that!
I suspect that was his play skill as you don't get to be European Champion at AGOT unless you're top notch.
Though it's a Final so doubt his opponent was a slouch - Madrid's AGOT Meta also have a World champion.

Whatever, this build shows it's really good that Holy is there to make sure Nonliving is not too dominant.

Rejoice, the meta is alive, there's a paper-scissors-stone-lizard-spock of builds to out-predict your opponents.

(A shame that tournament game lengths may destroy the viability of some counter-strategies.)

Aegis doesnt stack... Divine protection is useless on angels.

And Sacred Ground doesnt protect conjurations...

DOH! Still at work (which blocks the card sites like gameknight but not this forum, my sanity saviour)
I forgot Guardian Angels have it already (but not Gray Angels if I recall correctly?)

Sacred Ground only Aegis on creatures? Never realised. Only played it once I think...
I wonder if it's the same with Fortified Ground...

Yeah, it all makes sense now why the Divine Protection is on Knights.
It would be pretty daunting to Surging Wave "man down" wolf pack them with it on.

I think I'm now going to wait until I get home instead of quickly posting and making such a faux pas.
I think I'm just excited because it's been the most interesting build posted in a long while.

Rumours of the Meta's demise to Nonliving have been greatly exaggerated...

I prefer the cleric opening because it gives me one more action marker

Yes, when I read your opening, I immediately appreciated this. It's really good, Tarkin, a pitch perfect opening.

I understand the logic behind your choices. Sacred Ground does force a turtle but also protects key conjurations.

Do you place the Divine Protection on the Knights? I thought they were for the Angels!
Especially since I assume one will be guarding Temple of Asrya from being destroyed by Force Hammers etc?
I have always found that the Knight's Armour and Defence means I work around them.
They are not "Too Big To Kill" but they are not worth the effort (I play a lot of positional control when aggro).
Only time I attack Knights is with Surging Wave to remove their guard, wall bash and/or wolf pack it if down.

I love how Corrode has made Priestess the best armoured mage now!
That epiphany and Meditation Amulet in an armoured build has been a revelation to me.

I will never again dismiss a card and never play it.
Now where's that Gate to Hell coaster...?

Altar of the iron guard will be a great addition once it's available! :D

Yes, Altar will be perfect for this build. I very much hope it won't be Legendary though! Initiative coin flip...

I totally agree about Veteran's Belt. It was a game changer and it's even better with Wizard & his Shield.
4 armour + Veteran's Belt and you can laugh at Thorns. Generally a Forge Wizard has 7 armour anyway.

My Wizard uses Healing Wand as the second Wand (+ Teleoort Wand usuallY) to remove Corrode.
I never thought of Priestess ability which frees hand to use Dispel Wand! Just blew me away, Tarkin.

I'm going to have to test Meditation Amulet with Voltari + Forge build in Water or Fire to see if it works.

This build has made me very happy that the meta is actually far more vibrant than I had previously thought.
I suspected something was up when I read the match-ups and results - hence daring to ask for your book.

One question: I noticed Indy has Sacred Ground which seems a natural choice in a turtle build but not you?
Was this what you took out for the 2nd Temple of Light? Also no Harmonize or Armour Ward like Indy has?

I liked Indy's Enchantment choice more (not Block) but I far preferred your Incantations choice.

I think the answer may be in Indy's question: his meta doesn't play Dispel/Dissolve as much as the Madrid meta.

It actually does not leverage rubbish Light at all against Nonliving, just outproduce with Knights and Guardians.
So it's not one-dimensional: I'm just shocked you survived 2 Grizzly FM assault - you must've played out of your (Bear) skin!

This build is a meta evolution milestone build: I suggest you edit it and name it something snappy...

Great build and write up, Tarkin. I loved the meta mind games in choosing your mages in the final!

Dammit, I'm gonna have to eat humble pie over Procrastination Meditation Amulet...

That's it, no more playtest games, I have to reconnect with the meta as this book blew many of my preconceptions away.

Thanks again for posting!

League / Tournament Play / Re: League play in Madrid (Spain)
« on: February 17, 2014, 10:17:03 AM »
When you mentioned AGOT, I thought you might be same "Tarkin, the most vile and treacherous of allies" described here!

Congrats, Tarkin! To have such an expert in a far more mature game play Mage Wars is a compliment to the game.

League / Tournament Play / Re: League play in Madrid (Spain)
« on: February 17, 2014, 08:14:48 AM »
I play AGOT too! Are you guys the famous "Madrid Meta" in AGOT? If so, I assume have you gone to Stahleck?
I have to say that after Kingsguard Cycle blew away many of the old cards, I think the power creep was too steep.
I think FFG have made a big mistake with Agendas like Noble Cause that aren't fun and too many good neutrals.

Arcane Wonders should learn from the mistakes FFG made with AGOT, the longest running LCG out there.
(1) a tiny bit of power creep is inevitable, players buy new stuff to power game as well as explore new cards
(2) however, the trick is to make the creep as tiny as possible but still noticeable (so all books improve slightly)
(3) there will always be dominant and weaker factions but it should change each set and never just 1 dominant
(4) it's perfectly fine to ban and errata cards until the meta can cope with them when you remove them from list
(5) making strategies that are too fast win-or-lose (Noble Cause) or denies playing (Greyjoy choke) are not fun
(6) there needs to be "Core + last X expansions" Tournament spell book restriction (like Standard in Magic) else cost to enter the game at a competitive level will be too high (players are still free to play Legacy all expansions or even promos casually)

I think the most exciting thing about Mage Wars is being there basically at the beginning and the hobby being so small that what you post here is actually listened to and acted on (if a bit slowly). They are so cautious but it is inevitable that mistakes will be made. The current cards will be looked at like Magic Alpha and Beta cards that were plain broken (especially card draw, free turns & free mana acceleration). It does show immense pride in their product that they are afraid to attempt ambitious concepts without thorough playtesting. But then they fail to spot the bleeding obvious (e.g. DvN will totally devalue pierce/bleed and further promote Kill The King focus).

I look forward to your double-spawnpoint Priestess build. I'm surprised it survived aggro 2 Grizzly FM book - unless you changed tempo?

I need to post a new book to try to regain my tattered rep. But I've been so busy playtesting with new cards, interacting with the co-designer and other playtesters, that I've just had no time to actually study the game as it is. I was a bit dismayed at Earth Wizard coming last in a recent tournament so I might just post an update to Golem Pit (changed a lot) to at least ensure Earth Wizard's reputation is not dented any further. Alternatively, I was intrigued by a recent post asking "how does a Solo FM beat a Druid without resorting to Fire?". I'm not an expert with either but it's got me thinking... I really need to post something constructive on the public forums soon.

Yes, please post your Priestess in the Spellbook section. I think Holy is a good meta choice with the dominance of Nonliving currently.

Welcome to the forum, godai.

So bought everything at Bashcon? Seems like you like to dip your toe in before plunging in... :)

I think having all 10 mages built simultaneously is an impossible aim, settle for 8 and choose between the alternate mages.

This thread could serve a great use if people posted the spells they really wish they had more of (and how many).

My wish is they create a Core Upgrade Pack that has (X - number cards in Core Set) where
X = 6 if level 1
X = 4 default
X = 3 unique or limited school only
X = 2 legendary or specific mage only
X = 1 epic

That to me would have been the ideal Core Set Upgrade Pack

Ideal distribution is complicated because the utility of the card and how common it will appear in different books.

For example, everyone wants more

* Teleport
* Dragonscale Hauberk
* Elemental Cloak
* Regrowth Belt
* Enchanter's Ring

Booster packs with these spells (and others) should be created because there is demand for them.
Maybe each of these Booster packs should have a theme.

For example: "Beastmaster Booster 1" may have all the missing level 1 animals, Rajan's Fury and Marked for Death needed to play that archetype, "Wizard" will have more Teleports, Whirling Spirits etc. I'm just thinking about the cards we borrow and proxies we use. (Not to mention any errata text cards). These boosters would be cheap and themed towards certain builds to minimise what you need. It's good support.

Can posters think of any other cards that they need?

League / Tournament Play / Re: League play in Madrid (Spain)
« on: February 17, 2014, 02:17:44 AM »
Congrats, Tarkin. Your Madrid meta is important because I suspect it's a strong competitive meta.
Care to post your Priestess book here?
I haven't played her in ages and I'm interested to see what a good Priestess build looks like these days?
No problem if you would rather keep your secrets to yourself!

Spells / Re: Tataree... reasons to play?
« on: February 16, 2014, 12:24:14 PM »
If i use harmonize, its 4 and with enchant ring 3.

Enchant Ring discount only on friendly creatures
Harmonize costs 2 SPs, can be dispelled at range 2
You are putting 2 eggs in 1 basket with an enchant, kill the tree and you lost both

Tataree obviously designed for Samara Tree which (as predicted at previews) hasn't gained favour
So you can move betweem Pods

It's main use is surely as a cheap quick-action guard distractor that can repeat distract if it rolls its great defence?

(I don't play it, just trying to justify its inclusion somehow)

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